In the Name of Friendship

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Chapter 30: A Brother's Promise

Aiman returned to the hospital to find Alya chatting with Dinda.

“Good evening, Girls,” Aiman greeted his sisters.

“Good evening, A Aiman,” the two girls responded.

“Have you met Kak Prama, Kak Putra, and Kak Reza, Brother?” Alya asked hopefully.

“Yes, I have,” Aiman replied.

“What did they say?” Alya queried out of curiosity.

“Prama, Putra, and Reza know someone who can lend us the money for Dinda’s surgery,” Aiman answered.

Alya’s eyes shone. “Really?”

Aiman nodded his head.

“Thank God,” Alya said with gratitude. She then turned to Dinda. “You heard that, Dinda? Finally, you can have your surgery soon. And this time, it’s for real.”

“At long last, I am going to be able to make a full recovery and I will no longer become a burden to A Aiman and Teh Alya,” Adinda spoke in a low mumble, but her brother and sister still could hear her.

“What are you talking about, Dinda? You’re not a burden to us,” Alya chided her.

“Yes. Don’t ever consider yourself as a burden, okay? Because you’re definitely not a burden to us,” Aiman emphasized.

Tears of happiness welled up in Dinda’s eyes. “Thank you, A Aiman, Teh Alya, for making me feel like the luckiest sister in the world. I love you so much.”

“We love you too, Dinda,” Aiman and Alya said in unison. They both then hugged their youngest sister.

“So when will this friend of yours will give us the money, Brother?” Alya asked after they pulled away.

“That’s the problem,” said Aiman.

Alya was confused. “What do you mean?”

“The person who’s willing to lend us money lives out of town, so I, Prama, Putra, and Reza have to go to his house tonight,” Aiman replied.

“Do you really have to go tonight? Can’t you wait until tomorrow?” Adinda inquired sadly.

“Sorry, Dinda, but I’ve got to go tonight. The thing is that man’s house is so far. Thus, the sooner we set off, the sooner we will get there, and the sooner we’ll be back too,” Aiman explained.

“Please don’t leave me here alone! I’m afraid,” Dinda pleaded.

“Don’t be afraid, Dinda! Your sister, Alya will be here to accompany you,” Aiman soothed her.

“Yes, I will spend the night here with you, Dinda. You don’t have to be afraid,” Alya reassured her.

“No, don’t go! I don’t want to be with Teh Dinda; I want to be with you, Brother,” Adinda whined.

“What’s got into Dinda? She never used to behave like this before,” Alya thought in bewilderment.

“Look! I wish I could stay here with you tonight, Dinda. But now I really must go, because I need to get the money for your surgery. You want to be fully recovered from your illness, right? That’s why you have to let me go now,” Aiman persuaded her.

“But—” Adinda was about to speak but Aiman raised a finger to her lips

“Shush! I won’t be long. I’ll make sure I will be back as soon as possible,” Aiman promised.

“Fine.” Dinda’s lips were set in a pout of annoyance. “But you must promise me that you’ll be back soon!”

“Yes, I promise you,” Aiman said firmly.

“You look tired. Try to get some sleep now, okay?” Aiman suggested.

Adinda nodded her head feebly.

Aiman plumped up his sister’s pillows before he helped Dinda lie back down on the bed.

“Good night, Sis. Sleep well.” Aiman bent forward and laid a kiss softly upon his sister’s forehead.

“Night, Brother!” Adinda responded.

Aiman turned to Alya and talked to her, “Alya, you have to take care of Dinda while I’m away, okay?”

“Don’t worry, Brother! I promise I’m going to take care of Dinda well,” Alya assured him.

Aiman ruffled his sister’s hair affectionately. “There’s a good girl!”

“Hey, stop messing my hair, Brother!” Alya protested.

Aiman chuckled. Adinda giggled too.

“Okay, I need to get going now. Putra, Prama, and Reza have been waiting for me,” said Aiman.

“Okay. Be careful, Brother!” Alya and Adinda said at the same time.

“Sure. I will,” replied Aiman.

Aiman made his way to the door. He was just about to get out of the room, but he stopped abruptly. Aiman turned around to face his sisters and said sincerely, “Alya, Dinda, you must know that I will always love you no matter what happens.”

His words baffled Alya. “Why did you say that?”

A smile touched the corners of Aiman’s mouth. “Nothing. See you soon, Girls.”

“See you, Brother.” Alya and Adinda waved at their older brother as he walked out of the room and shut the door after him.

Alya had a foreboding feeling that something was wrong, but she didn’t know what it was. She just hoped that everything was going to be all right.

(((((

Elsewhere, Prama was packing a bag with a few things that he needed for tomorrow.

Suddenly, Rara burst into her brother’s room without troubling to knock.

“Are you sure you want to do this, Brother?” Rara enquired anxiously.

Yes, Prama had revealed his and his friends’ plan for tomorrow to Rara. He and his sister had made a bargain to tell each other everything. They were no any secrets between the two of them.

“Yeah, I’m pretty sure,” Prama replied with certitude.

“I advise you not to go, Brother. I have an uneasy feeling that something terrible is going to happen,” Rara suggested.

Prama let out a loud guffaw. “So my little sister wants to act as a fortune teller now?”

“Don’t laugh! It’s a serious suggestion,” she snapped at him. “You know my feeling is always right, don’t you?”

“But it’s not impossible that your feeling is wrong this time,” said Prama indifferently.

“Please listen to me, Brother!” Rara pleaded, “I’m worried about you. I don’t want something bad to happen to you.”

“There’s no point in worrying over things that haven’t happened yet, Rara. Everything will be all right, trust me,” Prama convinced her.

“What if everything didn’t go exactly as planned?” Rara inquired sharply.

He thought for a moment before replying, “No matter what happens, I must go because I want to help Aiman.”

“Kak Aiman has betrayed you and your friends, Brother, why should you help him?” she asked with a sneer in her voice.

“Aiman has never betrayed us,” Prama said with emphasis, “Instead, he has done the right thing. You know what I and my friends are doing all this time is morally wrong, right? Aiman realized it too, that’s why he wanted to try leading a good life. It was a big mistake on my and my friends’ part to have gotten angry with Aiman when we should have supported whatever decision he made.”

Rara conceded that her brother was right. All this time, she knew that Prama and his friends had been acting wrongly. But Rara couldn’t blame them because they were forced to commit crimes in order to survive in this harsh world. Although Rara had known that her brother and his friends were criminals, but she reminded silent, because she didn’t want them to be thrown into jail.

“Besides,” Prama continued, “I’m not doing this for Aiman, but for his sister. Adinda is critically ill in hospital now. She requires surgery as soon as possible, but Aiman doesn’t have enough money to pay the expenses. That’s why I, Putra, and Reza are going to help him to get the money.”

“I understand that you want to do it with the best of intentions, but please don’t go, Brother! There must be other way to help Dinda without you having to rob again,” Rara persuaded her brother.

“We have no choice but to rob, Rara. Where do you think we can get Rp 9 billions in less than a week if we don’t rob?” Prama tried to reason with his sister.

“I’m sure we can find a solution to this problem,” said Rara confidently.

“We are now racing against time to save Dinda’s life. We don’t have time to look for an alternative solution to this problem,” Prama reasoned.

“But what you and your friends are about to do is very risky, Brother,” Rara reminded him, “I just don’t want you all to get hurt. So I advise you against doing that. Please listen to me just this once! I’m only telling you this for your own good. I want the best for you because I love you.”

Prama’s face cracked into a smile. “Yes, I know, I love you too, Sister. I—”

“No, that’s not what I meant,” Rara cut him off.

Prama looked puzzled. “What do you mean then?”

“You know perfectly well what I meant. Why pretend otherwise?” Rara retorted.

It took a moment for what Rara was saying to sink in.

Prama finally figured out that Rara didn’t love him as a sister to her brother, but as a woman to a man.

“No, Rara!” shouted Prama, “You are my sister; You can’t love me that way.”

“We both know that you are not really my brother,” Rara yelled back.

Yes, Prama was not Rara’s biological brother. Prama’s natural mother was unable to care for him so he was raised by his grandmother on his father’s side. After his grandmother passed away, Prama was forced to live on the streets because nobody wanted to take care of him and he had to survive by begging and stealing. One day, Prama came across Rara who had been abandoned by her parents. Prama felt compassion for Rara, so he decided to take her in. From that day on, Prama and Rara grew up together as siblings. Nobody had ever known that Rara wasn’t Prama’s real sister, not even Aiman, Putra, and Reza. Because Rara and Prama made a deal to keep it secret from everyone. Rara’s confession came as a bombshell to Prama. He had never thought that her feelings would blossom into love.

“Family isn’t always about blood, Rara. Even though we aren’t related by blood, you’re still my sister. We are family,” Prama emphasized.

“I don’t want you to be my brother; I want you to be my boyfriend,” Rara insisted.

“That’s enough, Rara!” Prama snapped at her, “I don’t want to talk about it anymore. You’ve gone too far this time.”

“I just want to tell you how I feel so that I can get it off my chest. What’s wrong with that?” said Rara.

“You’re always going to be my sister no matter what happens. Do you hear me?” Prama hollered.

“You can’t ignore the fact that I am not your real sister forever,” Rara talked back.

Prama paid no head to Rara’s words, instead, he uttered, “I must be going now.” Prama lastly stormed out of his room.

Rara followed him. She grasped his hand and said firmly, “No, you may not go! I’m not done speaking with you yet.”

Prama shook her off. “We’ll discuss this problem again when I return home.”

Without waiting for Rara’s response, Prama stomped angrily out of his house and then hopped into his car before speeding off.

Rara ran after him while calling out his name, “Prama! Prama, wait! Don’t go! Prama!”

(((((

At the same time, Putra was preparing to leave.

“You want to leave already?” asked a tall young woman with a short black hair whom Putra came across in the living room.

Putra nodded his head. “Yeah.”

“Good luck, Brother! I hope everything will go according to plan,” the young woman prayed.

Putra smiled at her sister. “Yes, I also hope so.”

“But,” he went on, “if everything didn’t go exactly as planned, you know what you have to do, don’t you?”

Putra was sure that he and his friends had made a good plan, but there were a lot of things they hadn’t thought of yet due to limited time, that’s why he was afraid that their plan would be thwarted.

“Don’t worry, Brother! Everything has been taken care of,” Putra’s sister reassured him.

“Good job!” Putra gave us a thumbs-up sign.

His sister smiled at him.

“OK then, I ought to go now. Later, Sis!” said Putra.

“See you later, Brother. Be careful!” the young woman responded.

“Okay.” At last, Putra walked out of the house. After that, he got into a car that had been waiting in front of his house.

“What took you so long?” Reza who was sitting behind the wheel asked angrily.

Putra apologized, “Sorry, Bro, I have to say goodbye to my sister first.”

At the mention of Putra’s sister, Reza’s face softened. “So my future wife is at home now?”

“Who do you mean by your future wife?” Putra questioned.

“Your sister, of course,” replied Reza confidently.

“If you think you can marry my sister, you’re living in a dream world, Dude. My sister is much too good for you,” Putra mocked.

“There’s no need to be rude, man! You should be proud to have a brother-in-law like me,” Reza boasted.

“Me? Proud of you? You must be kidding me!” Putra sneered.

“Yeah, whatever,” Reza commented.

He opened the car door and was about to get off of the car, but Putra held him back.

“Where are you going?” Putra queried.

“I want to meet my future wife,”

Reza answered with a cheeky grin.

“You can see my sister later. Now, we’d better get moving. Prama and Aiman must be waiting for us,” Putra scoffed.

“Fine.” Reza snorted with annoyance. He shut the car door and sat back in his seat before starting the engine and at last he drove off.

(((((

Meanwhile in the hospital, Adinda was fast asleep in her bed, while Alya settled herself comfortably on the sofa, reading a book.

All of a sudden, Alya’s mobile phone rang. She shut her book and picked up the phone right away.

“Hello?” Alya greeted.

“Hello Alya,” said Shinta at the other end of the phone, “Where are you now? I went to your house earlier tonight, but nobody was in when I called. I also tried calling Aiman several times, but I couldn’t get through.”

“I’m in the hospital now,” Alya replied.

“What are you doing in the hospital? Are you all right?” Shinta enquired anxiously.

“Don’t worry! I’m fine. It’s Dinda who is sick. She’s being hospitalized now,” Alya told Shinta.

“What?! Dinda is in hospital? Why ever didn’t you tell me before?” Shinta complained.

Shinta’s words took Alya by surprise. “So you don’t know about it?”

“No, I don’t,” Shinta replied.

“Oh I’m sorry, Teh Shinta. I thought A Aiman has told you,” Alya apologized.

“Forget it! Now tell me the address of the hospital. I’ll be right there,” Shinta commanded.

“OK, I’ll text you the address,” said Alya.

“Okay,” Shinta said and with that she hung up the phone.

Alya typed the hospital address on her mobile phone and then sent a message to Shinta.

After reading the message from Alya, Shinta sped off to the hospital to visit Dinda.

(((((

Shinta arrived at the hospital 20 minutes later. Alya welcomed her at the door of Dinda’s room and let her in.

Shinta went over the room and stood beside Dinda’s bed, watching her sleeping soundly.

“How is Dinda?” Shinta asked as her fingers caressed Adinda’s hair affectionately.

“She is getting better now,” Alya replied.

“Thank God.” Shinta let out a sigh of relief.

Shinta looked around the room. “By the way, where is Aiman?”

“He’s not here. He has left already,” Alya answered.

Shinta frowned. “Where is he going?”

“He went out of town with Kak Prama, Kak Putra, and Kak Reza,” replied Alya.

At the mention of the robbers’ names, Shinta was flabbergasted. “What did Aiman go with those robbers for? He told me that he had lost touch with them since he quitted as a robber. Does it mean that he gets back to the life of crime again? I have to make sure of it,” she thought.

“Why did Aiman go out of town with them?” Shinta posed a question.

“Dinda requires to have surgery, but we don’t have enough money to pay the expenses. That’s why A Aiman together with Kak Prama, Kak Putra, and Kak Reza go out of town to meet a friend of theirs because they want to borrow some money from him,” Alya explained.

“Is it true they’re going to borrow money from their friend? Why do I find that hard to believe it?” Shinta thought suspiciously.

“Why didn’t you tell me that you need money?” Shinta demanded, “You know, I can lend you money if you want.”

“No offence, but Dinda’s surgery costs a lot of money, and I’m sure you’ll never have as much money as that,” Alya responded.

“How much does it cost?” Shinta inquired.

“It costs about Rp 9 billions,” Alya rejoined.

After Shinta found out the amount of money Aiman had to pay for Dinda’s surgery, it all began to fall into place.

“Is that why Aiman met those robbers again? Did Aiman ask for their help to get the money for Adinda’s surgery? But why didn’t he borrow some money from Sandra? Her parents are billionaire, I’m sure 9 billions rupiah is nothing to somebody as rich as her,” Shinta was wondering.

“What are you going to do, Aiman? I hope you’re not taking a wrong decision,” Shinta wished.

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